All residents in West York should have received a consultation leaflet on plans for a wide area 20 mph speed limit. They came in a plastic envelope with a leaflet about the Local Plan (about which more later this week) and “Local Link”.
Anyone who has propelled the”pack” in the general direction of the recycling bin may get another by telephoning the Council on York 551550.
The leaflet, after a few ritual attempts to blame the government for introducing 20 mph limits (actually it is entirely up to local Councils to decide), tells residents that they have until 21st June to “object” to the new limits.
The implication is that, if you don’t record an objection, then you must favour the new limit. Inertia and barriers to responses (they require written submissions) aren’t the only problems with the councils approach.
The leaflets are singularly short on facts.
• First and most obviously there is no mention of the £600,000 cost of the project.
• Secondly the Council are not making available the results of the speed checks that they have undertaken on many of the roads in the area. (We know most cul de sacs not surprisingly already have very low average speeds)
• And finally there is no information about accident levels (again we know that accident rates on the roads that may get a 20 mph limit are much lower than for other roads in and around the City).
We advise everyone to Email firstname.lastname@example.org and register a formal objection to “The York Speed Limit (amendment) (No 11/4) Order 2013”.
Below are some reasons that could be quoted in support of an objection.
1. The west of York has generally got a good road safety record and already has 20 mph speed limits at appropriate locations (e.g. outside schools).
2. Average speeds, in most of the roads to be covered by the 20 mph limit, are already below 30 mph and the Council’s claim, that the new signs would reduce speeds by 3 mph, would therefore make little practical difference.
3. Accident rates in York (Killed and Seriously Injured casualties – KSI) have reduced dramatically over the last 6 years. Available resources should be focused on continuing the Councils successful accident prevention programme which is partly responsible for this improvement.
4. The impact of 20 mph speed limits on accident rates is not yet fully understood. In some City’s, such as Portsmouth, the introduction of a wide area 20 mph speed limit has led to an increase in the number of KSI accidents.
5. The Police have said that they do not have the resources to enforce a wide area 20 mph speed limit. The Police and Crime Commissioner has confirmed that mobile safety camera vans will not be used to enforce such a limit. It follows that drivers will continue to drive at a speed that they consider appropriate for the conditions on a particular day.
6. Police speed limit enforcement resources should continue to be focused at accident black spots.